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How to Officiate a Christening Ceremony

by Kristie Lorette

A christening ceremony is the formal welcoming of a new baby into the religious community in which the child is being christened. Since a christening ceremony is typically held in a church, it is more of a religious ceremony than its counterpart of the naming ceremony. Officiating a christening ceremony is typically done in accordance with the bible, but may also involve some custom written ceremony sermons from the ceremony officiant.

Priest

Welcome guests. First, welcome the friends, family and members of the congregation participating in the christening ceremony by being in the audience.

Priest

State the reason for the occasion. Mention the reason you’ve all come together is to christen the baby and welcome him or her into the church community.

Christening

Have the parents come forward. Request the parents step up to the altar, the front of the church or where the christening will take place. Generally, the mother holds the child so that it’s lying in her arms with the baby’s head toward the officiant.

Read a Bible verse

Read a bible verse. Choose and read a bible verse pertaining to being christened.

Christening

Have parents state their dedication. Ask the parents to agree to their commitment to raising the child with the religion of the church.

Christening

Obtain commitment from the godparents. In certain religions, such as the Catholic church, the baby’s godparents are also asked to commit to helping to raise the child under the faith of the parents. Be sure to have the godparents agree to being involved.

Anoint the baby

Anoint the baby. Using holy water or water that has been blessed anoint the child’s head with it. You can do this with your finger or use a small water pitcher and basin to pour the water over the child’s head.

Welcome the baby into the community. Once the baby has been christened, they are officially part of the church community, so state this and welcome them.

Items you will need
  • Ordainment
  • Names of the parents, child and godparents (where applicable)

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision/Digital Vision/Getty Images